After taking a round of prednisone while on our beach vacation, all my eczema patches healed up. My hands were completely normal and the skin on my fingers was soft again. All the swelling went down. We stayed at a condo for a week in Destin, so we could cook most meals. In Pensacola we stayed at a hotel for three additional nights, meaning eating out for every meal. I ate lots of foods that I typically avoid due to my allergies (wheat, corn, sugar, yeast and eggs) like pizza, fried chicken, steak/cheese sub, sandwiches etc. I hoped for a miracle, that since my skin had a chance to clear up, maybe this time I wouldn’t react. I knew I was taking risks and would probably pay the price for it later. We had a couple of stressful days when we got home, and I continued eating processed foods out of convenience. Only a few days later, I saw the telltale signs of an impending flare up…
My reactions to foods vary. Most of the time, I get what I call my ‘red mustache’ or my ‘eczema goatee.’ My lips, cheeks, chin, neck and ears start itching and burning. Other common eczema spots are in the creases of my elbows, backs of my knees, and occasionally a splattering of hives all up and down both arms and legs. I hate the facial symptoms the most, but coming in a close second is this awful curse of having dyshidrotic hand and foot eczema. Clear bubbles erupt in patches from deep under my skin and itch intensely. When I scratch, the sores break open, and the bubbles ooze clear fluid. They dry up and split, called fissures, and are incredibly painful. For a while I had a fissure on the bottom of my foot and it hurt just to walk! As I type, my feet are fine, but seven of my fingers are afflicted by this heinous disease. If I eat ‘clean’ these eruptions will subside, dry up, the skin becomes rough and scarred and takes extensive time to heal.
I did some reading about it, and it says it’s associated with food allergies some of the time but is more commonly triggered by allergies to nickel (yes I’m also allergic to nickel too). It often appears during times of stress, and they suggest not getting your hands and feet wet too often because of the overall drying effect. However, there is no cure. Antihistamines and steroid creams treat the symptoms, but I think in my case my only saving grace is to stop eating processed foods and get back to an allergy free diet. It is much easier said than done!
Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!